October 11th, 2019

Colossians 3:1-7

In Wednesday’s blog, I mentioned that if we’ve truly given our lives to Jesus, then our lives will reflect that. Colossians 3, from today’s Bible-in-a-Year reading, affirms that truth. I’m trusting you will read the entire chapter and see for yourself, but I want to highlight the first few verses. Vv.1-7 say,
“1 Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. 3 For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory. 5 Therefore consider the members of your earthly body as dead to immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed, which amounts to idolatry. 6 For it is because of these things that the wrath of God will come upon the sons of disobedience, 7 and in them you also once walked, when you were living in them.”
When Jesus called people to respond to Him, He said, “Deny yourself, take up your cross daily, and follow Me” (Luke 9:23, NASB). Even in Jesus’ most gentle moments with sinners, Jesus never gave affirmation or approval to their sin. Consider the story of the woman caught in adultery, a story about Jesus that people love because of how compassionate He was to the woman caught in adultery when everyone else would have stoned her to death. But what does He say to the woman? “Go. From now on sin no more” (John 8:11, NASB, my emphasis added).”
What we have to understand about coming to Christ for salvation and receiving eternal life in His Name is that we come to Jesus broken, looking for true life. We come to Jesus as sinners looking to be rescued from our sin. We come to Jesus opposed to God, looking to be given peace with God. We come to Jesus as lost people, looking to be adopted as God’s very own children. And Jesus never fails to deliver on His promise of salvation. But when we come to Jesus we are turning away from sin, and oftentimes there are sins that we love to indulge in.
It’s important in today’s day-and-age where we are told to “be true to yourself,” “follow your heart,” “be who you were born to be,” “don’t change who you are,” and “do what you feel,” that we recognize that we were born into sin; our hearts are deceitful, desperately sick, and beyond understanding (Jeremiah 17:9); and that Jesus calls us to forsake ourselves to follow Him! Colossians 3:3 says, “For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God.”
Recognizing these truths, and that we are called to be holy as the Lord is holy (1 Peter 1:16), how are you seeking and setting your mind on the things above as opposed to on the things that are on earth? How are you actively seeking Jesus and the holiness He gives as opposed to wallowing in sin? What steps are you taking to avoid sin (which amounts to idolatry and leads to the wrath of God) and keep Christ as the priority in your life?
I would encourage you to pray every day, read the Bible every day, attend worship weekly, be involved in a Sunday School class or small-group regularly, share Jesus Christ with non-believers regularly, tithe regularly, serve regularly, encourage regularly, and love always. And when it comes to sin, recognize that the battle begins in your mind. Go to the Lord for help at the first sign of temptation and submit yourself to the Holy Spirit so that you will overcome sin and obey your Lord.
If you have any questions about what it means to be saved from your sins and to receive Jesus as your Lord and Savior, or about how to live a life of obedience to Christ and victory over sin, please contact us at info@fb3c.org.
I hope you’ll come be with us this Sunday at First Baptist Church Central City for Sunday School at 9:45 am, Worship at 11 am, and our Guatemala Mission Team Share service at 6 pm (we will all be in the sanctuary together).
In Christ,
Pastor Chase

October 9th, 2019

Colossians 1:13-20

Who is Jesus? It would take much more than a blog post to fully answer that critical question. But Colossians 1, from today’s Bible-in-a-Year reading, certainly gives us a profound picture of Jesus Christ. In verses 13-20 we’re told,
“13 For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. 15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 16 For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him. 17 He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. 18 He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He Himself will come to have first place in everything. 19 For it was the Father’s good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in Him, 20 and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him, I say, whether things on earth or things in heaven” (NASB).
Reading from this powerful passage alone, we learn the following about the Son of God:
1. The Son is fully God.
2. The Son, incarnate in Jesus Christ, is the perfect image of the invisible God (meaning, in Jesus, the nature and being of God has been perfectly revealed).
      1. John 1:18 says, “No one has ever seen God, but the one and only Son, who is himself God and is in closest relationship with the Father, has made him known” (NIV).
      2. John 14:9 tells us, “Jesus said to him, “Have I been so long with you, and yet you have not come to know Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; how can you say, ‘Show us the Father ‘?” (NASB).
      3. Hebrews 1:3 says, “The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven” (NIV).
3. The Son, incarnate in Jesus Christ, is the “firstborn of all creation.” This does not mean that He was the first created being (after all, v.16 tells us that “by Him all things were created.” And v.17 tells us that He existed “before all things” and that He holds all of creation together!). The Son is not a created being because He is God, thus to say that the Son is the “firstborn of all creation” is a way of saying that He is the “heir of all things” (Hebrews 1:2), just as firstborn children were in ancient cultures. All of creation belongs to Christ.
4. The Son holds all creation together (see above).
5. The Son is the source of and authority over His Church.
6. The Son is the beginning and priority of everything.
7. Jesus Christ, the Son incarnate, is the first to be raised from the dead to eternal, unending life.
8. The Father was well pleased to reconcile all things to Himself through the Son, having made peace through the blood of His cross. In other words, through Jesus Christ’s crucifixion for our sins, all of our sins have been paid for in full. Jesus was buried after He died for our sins, and on the third day He rose from the dead, making the way to eternal life for all human beings. If we will simply turn from our sins (repent) and believe on Jesus Christ for salvation, we will be saved and we will have peace with God.
Through the accomplished work of Jesus Christ on the cross for our sins, we have the guaranteed hope of eternal life when we put our full belief in Him.
These are powerful truths! But you must understand, if you believe in something you act on it. Do you truly believe that Jesus is both Lord and God? Have you trusted in Him as your Savior? Have you been born again by turning from your sins and believing in Jesus? If so, your life will reflect that change. Your life will reflect that conversion. You will be a part of Christ’s Church, of which He is the Head. If your life doesn’t reflect that conversion, would you take a moment to consider Jesus and to ask the question we began with, “Who is Jesus?” Pause and ask the question, “Is Jesus the Lord of my life?”
I hope you’ll come be with us this Sunday at First Baptist Church Central City for Sunday School at 9:45am, Worship at 11am, and our Guatemala Mission Team Share service at 6pm (we will all be in the sanctuary together).

Finally, if you want to know more about what it means to be saved from your sins and to receive Jesus as your Lord and Savior, please contact us at info@fb3c.org.

I hope to see you soon!
In Christ,
Pastor Chase

October 4, 2019


Ephesians 6:10 – 18

10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. 14 Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. 16 In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; 17 and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, 18 praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end, keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints,

I’ve always found this passage in the Bible to be encouraging. If you have a background in the church you probably have a heard sermons preached on this passage before. In children’s ministry, you might have colored a picture of a person in a suit of armor. Maybe you’ve heard a sermon preached through this passage that fired you up and you were ready to strap on the armor and fight! I’ve heard those same sermons and have those same reactions. And they are the right reactions! But you know in all the years I’ve studied the Bible and I’ve read this passage, I think I’ve missed the very essence of what this passage is talking about. Let me explain…

First, I want to give some ways I think this passage is commonly preached and then give what I think is going on at the deeper level of this passage. So again if you’ve grown up in church you may have heard the sermon preached something like this: We live in a world with spiritual warfare happening all around us. These spiritual calamities can affect our minds and our hearts and how we live so we need to put on the armor of God so that we can protect ourselves against such things. So put on the belt of truth so that can always be surrounded by what the Word of God says. We put on the breastplate of righteousness to guard our hearts against the woes that would pierce it and destroy it and leave us vulnerable. We take the shoes of the gospel so that we are always ready to go and fight, bringing peace to a hostile world, bearing our shield of faith so that when the darts of doubt and misunderstanding are hurled at us we can knock them down and keep pressing on. We guard our heads with the helmet of salvation for we know that victory is ours in Jesus who is our ultimate salvation! And finally, we take up our weapon, the sword of the spirit, the bible. And through the memorization and recitation of its words, we will defeat the enemy set before us! Does all of that sound like something you may have heard before regarding this passage?

Now again, I’m not saying that reading the passage and applying it in that way is wrong. Those are how we should view each piece of armor and why we wear them. But something I’ve always missed about this passage is the process of war. Remember verse 12 tells us we wrestle (other translations say fight…which I like better actually) against spiritual forces. When we read this passage we oftentimes stop at the end of verse 17 and think alright I’ve gotta gear up and put on this armor to defend myself. But have you ever thought about the realities of war? War is not strictly a defensive engagement. There are two sides to war (or any kind of engagement between two entities really): defense and offense! We FIGHT! We’re called to go fight! We put on armor to engage in battle; not just to play defense, but to play offense. So if we are to fight, to engage in the battle, to go on the offensive, how do we do that? Do we go out in the world and start to slaughter the evil of the culture by shouting bible verses at people who lost in sin? Do we go to a secular college campus and begin to publicly demean and shame people who aren’t believing what you believe? Do we kidnap a person’s emotions and guilt them to coming to church where they’ll hear some kind of message about God that will straighten them out (sort of a spiritual POW)?

Look at verse 18 again, “praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication.” Our main battleground, the place where the front lines stand, the most essential region necessary in the battle is prayer. That’s the first place we go to fight, and then the Lord may call upon us to carry out special assignments. But we MUST pray first and often!

Do you ever look at this world and feel the weight of its lostness. Have you ever watched the news and just been heartbroken over the evil that is in the world. Or let’s get a little closer to home. Have you ever had a family member or a friend or loved one or neighbor go through something and you just felt this overwhelmingly heavy burden for them. What do we do about it? We PRAY! And what Paul is saying to us here is not just a single short “Lord help them” type prayer (which I am guilty of praying most of the time, maybe you are too). No, Paul here is telling us to strap up our armor and make war. To go to battle with it. If you want to push back the darkness in this world, if you want to see the enemy flee in your life, you have to pray. 

You might think “well gosh that sounds simple”. But here’s the problem. The enemy knows this. He’s familiar with what’s God’s word says. Because of this, he has put all kinds of obstacles and distractions in our path to keep us from prayer. We get busy with work or school, our kids and home life, or whatever it is we get distracted. One of the biggest, and dare I say primary tactics I believe the enemy uses today is technology. We are a society that cannot look up from our phones or our devices. These distractions in life hold our attention so well that we cannot focus long enough to do battle. They’ve also birthed a spirit of instant gratification in us so if in the few times we do pray, it’s not a quick result, we stop. The battle ends and the enemy takes the high ground. We are distracted. And this leads to the next issue. 

We’re also sometimes out of shape (spiritually speaking). Because we’ve become so distracted we’ve not conditioned ourselves as we should. We’re not at our peak performance level. We are unfit soldiers. So if by chance we try to pray or we desire to pray, often we feel we don’t know how, or that we’re somehow unable because of inadequacies. And we again give up. 

Let me wrap up this devotion by encouraging and challenging you with this: engage the enemy in prayer. Set aside some significant time away from the distractions of life and get on your face in prayer. If you feel inadequate or unsure of how to even start praying, just pray what you got. Do the best you can. We don’t just go run a marathon, we have to train and condition for it. But we must first start. I’ll be in the ranks with you! So let’s strap up our armor, grab our swords and pray!

In Christ!


October 3, 2019

Ephesians 5:1-2

“Therefore, be imitators of God, as beloved children.” (ESV)

As I was thinking about this passage and writing this devotion, I can’t help but think about my oldest son Ezra. He’s a 4-year-old, quick-witted, too smart for his own good, little ball of energy. I love my son. I love spending time with my son. What I especially love though is when Ezra wants to do what I am doing. If I am mowing the grass, Ezra is on his little 6-volt power wheels John Deere tractor mowing with me. If I’m washing the car, Ezra has a sponge and takes control of the hose as equally (if not more) as I do. If I’m on stage singing or playing, he’s right next to me holding a microphone and belting out as best he knows how! He enjoys doing what his daddy is doing and I am delighted to engage him in that activity. It is often the case that children love to imitate their dads. Most of the time, dad is the child’s hero and they want to be just like him. 

Our passage here says to “be imitators of God”. What does that mean exactly? Think about it. Should we create a universe? Can we do that? Do we start a new people group? Do we claim absolute authority over everything and demand the universe revolve around us? (That last one is actually we do try to do although we shouldn’t). You have to understand what comes after the comma – “as beloved children”. Some translations say “as dearly loved children”. The point is the same; as a believer in Jesus Christ – that is a person who has believed in the gospel, repented and turned from their sin, and is trusting Jesus for their salvation while pursuing a life of holiness and righteousness – we are adopted as sons and daughters of God. Romans 8:14-17 says it this way, “14 For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. 15 The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by Him we cry, “Abba, Father.” 16 The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. 17 Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.”

I’ve not yet had the privilege to adopt a child, but I’ve heard the experience is amazing. It is my understanding that during the final court proceedings the judge will ask if you promise to love and care for this child as if they were your very own (or from your very body (or something along that train of thought)). What an amazingly insightful question. When we are adopted through Christ, we become children of God and He calls us His! It is through the lens of the adopted, loved, cherished, child perspective that we consider the first half of the verse on being imitators. I stated previously that children (for the most part) copy their daddies, but we also know that we are just human; we can’t do what God can. So how are we to imitate Him? The next verse answers that question for us…love. 

Love is a word that has been cheapened in its meaning in our world today. It’s a word that can be used to describe varying levels of emotion or attraction. It can be used to imply a fondness of something or desire for something. I can say “I love my spouse” or “I love cheeseburgers” or “I love my friend” and they have very different meanings (I’ve done something similar in the very first paragraph above). I want to give you a definition of love that I have found to be the best way of expressing biblical love. Love is the unconditional, self-sacrificial commitment to the well being of another. The bible tells us that God demonstrated His love for us by sending Jesus to die for us, even though we were still sinners. We didn’t deserve God’s love. We didn’t deserve the chance to be sons or daughters, but in His mercy and grace, with an unconditional (meaning nothing we did) spirit, God came down to us in Jesus and died (self-sacrificial) in our place so we wouldn’t have too. And because He has promised to never leave us nor forsake us He shows His commitment to us in His faithfulness.

As I close, I want to encourage you with this thought. God loves you! He is for you! He has sacrificed His very life for you. If you are believing and trusting in Him, you are a cherished and beloved child whom God delights in. And so because of this, take the same kind of love in which you are given by our Heavenly Father and go share it with the world. We have a great and awesome Father to mimic and try to be like. So let’s show the world who our Father is.

In Christ, 


September 28th, 2019

Isaiah 6:1-8

Isaiah 6:1-8 is one of my favorite passages. This is how it reads in the New American Standard Bible:
“In the year of King Uzziah’s death I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, lofty and exalted, with the train of His robe filling the temple. Seraphim stood above Him, each having six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. And one called out to another and said, “Holy, Holy, Holy, is the Lord of hosts, the whole earth is full of His glory.” And the foundations of the thresholds trembled at the voice of him who called out, while the temple was filling with smoke. Then I said, “Woe is me, for I am ruined! Because I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts.” Then one of the seraphim flew to me with a burning coal in his hand, which he had taken from the altar with tongs. He touched my mouth with it and said, “Behold, this has touched your lips; and your iniquity is taken away and your sin is forgiven.” Then I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?” Then I said, “Here am I. Send me!”
How can we be ready to go and share the message of Jesus Christ with others? We must first have our sins washed away by the blood of the Lamb. If we are going to go and share the light of Christ in a world full of darkness, we ourselves have to first be saved out of darkness and into light. We have to be converted. We have to be born again. We have to become new people made ready and willing by God to tells others about Christ.
You may not feel worthy of sharing the gospel with others. Isaiah, when he found himself in the presence of Almighty God, recognized himself to be a sinner deserving of God’s wrath. He thought his life was over! And so he cried, “Woe is me, for I am ruined!” But God had other plans. Isaiah, recognizing his own sinfulness, had his sins taken away by the grace of God. And when the Lord takes our sins away, when we’ve truly been saved, we are filled with a desire for all people everywhere to know Jesus Christ. After Isaiah’s sins were forgiven, the Lord posed the question, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?” Isaiah responded, “Here am I. Send me!” He was ready and willing to go out into the world as the Lord’s messenger.
Are you ready and willing to go and share the good news about Jesus? The Lord is looking for messengers to carry the gospel throughout our community, our nation, and our world. Have you experienced His forgiveness? Are you ready to be sent?
I hope you’ll come be with us tomorrow at First Baptist Church Central City for Sunday School at 9:45am, Worship at 11am, and services for all different ages at 6pm. And if you want to know what it means to be saved from your sins and to go share the message of Jesus with others, come find me tomorrow and ask. I hope to see you there!
-Pastor Chase

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